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UC and PwC helping students earn and learn

Antony Perry

17 July 2017: A new paid internship program will give four students from the University of Canberra a taste of their future careers and potentially a head start in their chosen field.

Manuel Alvarez, Emily Bui, Lauren Firth, and Madison Head have been selected to take part in a new Industry Based Learning program developed by the University and PwC, one of Australia’s leading professional services firms.

The six-month program is a unique opportunity for students to undertake paid work placements that fully integrate with the University’s curriculum, meaning the program replaces classroom learning for a semester.

More importantly, they will gain valuable industry experience while further developing the skills and knowledge they need to build successful careers.

The program also puts the students in the box seat to secure graduate employment positions at the firm on completion of their studies.

The University’s Dean of the Faculty of Business, Government and Law, Professor Lawrence Pratchett, said the program would help produce more effective learning outcomes.

“The University of Canberra is focused on producing industry-ready graduates and we know that work-integrated learning goes a long way to achieving that,” Professor Pratchett said.

“The Industry Based Learning program provides an opportunity for students to be fully immersed in a professional workplace and we know that when students engage with industry throughout their studies, everyone benefits.

“Students learn by applying theories and concepts in the workplace as well as developing essential employability skills, networks and a deeper understanding of their professions, while the organisations they work with benefit from the students' fresh approach and innovation.”

It’s the first time the University and PwC have worked together to enhance students’ learning experience.

The students, all of whom are studying STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and maths) degrees, will receive the same experience as a PwC graduate employee.

Working under the supervision of senior PwC staff, they will have the opportunity to develop key consulting and business development skills, and be able to apply them in client environments.

They will also benefit from PwC’s award-winning culture through mentoring sessions and networking opportunities.

PwC Technology Consulting Partner Caitrin Dunn, who will work closely with the students, said the program aimed to find the best and brightest students in Canberra.

“We are excited to work with the University of Canberra to help students earn and learn,” Ms Dunn said.

“This program has been specifically developed to help local students gain valuable real-world consulting experience and participate in formal learning and development that will set them up for success.”

The inaugural program starts next month, with a view to it becoming an ongoing opportunity to students at the University.